As an estimable comics artist/illustrator who implements OuBaPo (a concept that roughly translates as “Potential Comics Workshop”), Jochen Gerner is well adjusted to appreciate the potential for a books format as well as its content, to provide meaning to the reader (intended or not – discussion is good). He has selected five books from his shelves, and speaks very informedly on each choice. Lovely stuff…
Le Perche à l’aube du troisième millénaire Vincent Malone, Les éditions Tagaro 2003
This book consists of a series of press photographs collected in a french regional newspaper. These photographs, that describe the life of a province, were selected for their absurdity and unintentional humour of their legends. This simple work of collected cuttings offer a delightful and hilarious reading of the text-image relationship. Simple journalistic phrases, misinterpretations and infinite sadness of some of the photos make the reader, paradoxically, extremely happy. The seriousness of the title and the austerity of coverage reinforce the irresistible nature of this book.
Précis de conjugaisons ordinaires Florence Inoué, David Poullard, Guillaume Rannou, Éditions Xavier Barral – La Ferme du Buisson, 2005
Based on the Bescherelle, the famous conjugation guide of French verbs, the authors took great pleasure to decline stock phrases of the French language in “an attempt to stretch the conventional French”. Based on these expressions, verbs are conjugated and deducted. Their combination forms offer an exhilarating clearance zone of the French language. The typography is perfect and the rose cover of this book takes up the austerity school and university textbook to which this mythical, “accurate of regular conjugations” refers.
Graphic Mic-Mac Randoald Sabbe, Jan W. Hespeel 2008
This catalog-book compiles a wide variety of graphic works of the Dutch agency, Janenrandoald. The flexibility of this work, the nature and variety of papers, the mix up of the presented works, the permanent frames and print colour games have the making of a really endearing editorial object. Images and typography are superposing and linking together with extreme sincerity and naturalness.
The Tower Bridge e altri racconti fotografici Matteo Terzaghi, Marco Zürcher, Edizioni Periferia 2009
This little book has been made on the basis of found old photographs, from which a particularly perfect story has been built. We are always here in the reinterpretation of images (or text), with the magic impact that can be established between images and words. And again, the simplicity of the cover – without illustrations – brings this book close to a form of intimate and touching story, intended for a nearly family circle.
A Criminal Investigation Watabe Yukichi, Éditions Xavier Barral Le Bal 2011
“On January 14th 1958 the disfigured and mutilated body of a man was discovered near Lake Sembako, Japan. Two Tokyo detectives were sent to help local authorities quickly wrap up what seemed to be a routine case. It turned out to be anything but.” This short introductory text presents the work with accuracy and suspense of a thriller. All the photographs in black and white presented in this book, give an impression of film noir to the story. The beauty of printing, manufacturing specifications and the accordion form of the pages reinforce this cinematographic effect. These photos vividly recreate the atmosphere of Japan in the fifties. The aesthetics of the work (typeset, graphic design and black elastic of a case) give the rigour of a ghostly documentary reportage.
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